Ireland and Scotland sign MoU on cultural heritage and climate action

Ruins of Ballinskelligs Castle in Ireland
Ruins of Ballinskelligs Castle in Ireland. Image: Kmcnamee Wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0

The Government of Ireland and the Scottish Government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cultural heritage and climate action.

The press release explains:

“Climate change is one of the most urgent and significant threats facing cultural heritage globally today. Ireland and Scotland share similar hazards: both are exposed to more intense storms, coastal erosion and sea-level rise along Atlantic coastlines, while our northern climates now experience increased precipitation in winter and increased risk of drought in summer. Irish and Scottish archaeological sites and monuments and architectural heritage share many characteristics in their materials and construction methods.”

Malcolm Noonan, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, said:

“Ireland and Scotland have long-standing and close cultural, political, economic, and community ties, and both the Government of Ireland and the Scottish Government are committed to deepening Irish-Scottish cooperation. It is an action of my Department’s Sectoral Adaptation Plan to cooperate actively with international partners and I welcome the opportunity the Memorandum of Understanding will give us to share knowledge, experiences, data and best practices with our friends and colleagues in Scotland in order to protect our cultural heritage and tackle climate change.”

David Mitchell, Head of Conservation at Historic Environment Scotland, said:

“Climate change threatens the historic environment in Scotland and Ireland in very similar ways, and it is crucial that we work together to face these shared challenges. I’m very pleased to welcome this Memorandum of Understanding which will strengthen our partnership with Irish colleagues and provide new opportunities to share our expertise as we continue working to better understand and address the impacts of climate change on our historic places.”

The press release continues:

“In the face of climate change, the need for transboundary cooperation is increasingly imperative. Both the Government of Ireland and the Scottish Government have declared a climate emergency and recognise the central role that cultural heritage can play in driving climate action and in supporting communities to make a just transition towards climate resilience. The commitment of both governments to address the role of cultural heritage in climate action is represented in the recent publications of Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage’s Built and Archaeological Heritage Climate Change Sectoral Adaptation Plan 2019 and Historic Environment Scotlands’s Climate Action Plan 2020-2025.”

Source: press release by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

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